Benjamin Franklin

HomePage | Recent changes | View source | Discuss this page | Page history | Log in |

Printable version | Disclaimers | Privacy policy

Benjamin Franklin was one of the leaders of the American Revolution. Born January 17, 1706, he grew up in Boston, Massachusetts before moving to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Franklin was a writer, inventor, printer, and ambassador. He was a member of the Continental Congress and a signer of the Declaration of Independence. Franklin also founded the University of Pennsylvania.

He was the author and publisher of Poor Richards Almanac, where he coined such maxims as "A penny saved is a penny earned" (a penny bought significantly more at the time than it does now).

Franklin is famous for his experiments with electricity, including his discovery, by the extremely dangerous experiment of flying a kite during a lightning storm, that lightning was similar in nature (though vastly more powerful) to the sparks of static electricity. His inventions include the Franklin stove and bifocals.

He was involved in the creation of the first volunteer fire department, free public library, and many other civic enterprises.

After the revolution, Franklin served as ambassador to France and was hugely popular with his hosts. In fact he was so popular, that it became fashionable for wealthy french families to decorate the parlor with a painting of him.

At his death bequeathed $??? each to the cities of Boston and Philadelphia, in trust for 200 years. Boston used the gift for ???? and Philadelphia for ???.

His likeness adorns the American $100 bill. As a result, $100 bills are referred to in slang as "Benjamins" or "Franklins".